After the win on Saturday we are in very good stead going into arguably the most important 2 away games of the season so far.
We really are at the business end of the season now as each game that arrives is billed as “the most important”
Obviously Saturdays game was a must win and a challenge for the boys. Playing away in the premiership after a Champions league away game and coming away with all 3 points is a sign of champions.
Our record against Wigan is a good one but history counts for nothing at this stage in the season, luckily the boys put in a good shift on Saturday, got all 3 points as well as increasing our goal difference.
Hernandez is certainly starting to seem a bargain and another gem that Ferguson has uncovered. I’ve said this before but if Wenger had signed him the media would’ve run out of all superlatives to describe him by now.
It makes you think how last seasons run in would have been improved if we had him on our books then when Rooney was out and obviously the much improved Berbatov.
Back to the 2 big games this week, Chelsea being the first. I have to say I'm not that surprised to see Chelsea where they are, 2 years ago Ferguson commented about the age of the squad and saying that he couldn’t see them maintaining a challenge with that group of players. Ok so he was a year out with that estimation but the wise old fox has been proved right once again.
Chelsea are a team in decline, the signing of Torres merely a marquee signing to hide the fact that they are going backwards. The £50 million would have been much better on a couple of midfielders or a genuine world class centre back that they’ve lacked since Carvalho left.
You just get the feeling that things just aren’t quite right at the bridge, they are a horrible bunch, and you would have to search the world for a more despised group of players, Terry, Cole, Drogba.
With all this said you just know the Chelsea team that turns up Tuesday night wont be the one we’ve witnessed since November time, when united are in town you raise your game. Some reds are predicting an easy win, personally I can see a draw or a sneaky 1-0 win depending on our setup.
The big games tend to see Berbatov drop to the bench, I think he deserves his start in this 1 as he’s been incredible this season. Rooney out on the left and Nani on the right should be the order of the day, but after Hernandez’s performance on Saturday how can you drop him?
I don’t see Chelsea as a title challenger this season, they’ve dropped behind far too much, against Copenhagen they showed signs of the old Chelsea but with all respect to the opposition Chelsea face harder opponents than that most weeks in our domestic league.
Usually id be happy with a point at Stamford Bridge but I think we’ve got every right to expect to go there and get all 3 points.
Then on Sunday we’ve got the big one, liverpool!
With Birmingham’s win in the league cup guaranteeing them a European place, Liverpool will have to keep winning games to get them some Europe action next season.
This game, like the Chelsea match is one we should be going to and expecting to win, their form is erratic and without Torres I can’t see them causing us any great problems at the back. The decline in their midfield with Alonso & Mascherano gone and Gerrards best days behind him mean that our not so strong midfield should win that battle.
Having said all that again form, history etc go out of the window, Liverpool will be up for this and raise their game just like Chelsea will. Forget their recent hapless displays in the Europa and west ham, they will suddenly turn it on. Luckily we will be ready for this as its been the same for pretty much the last 20 years or so.
Finally just a quickie about Arsenals defeat on Sunday, they looked very dejected at the final whistle (think Bayern Munich in 99) and the sounds coming out of the emirates is that its going to be very hard for them to get over this defeat.
I think this defeat is going to kick-start their annual Feb/March implosion that we’ve all become accustomed too.
Of course Wenger will still be hailed a genius, Arsenal will still be the best football team the world has ever seen and the kids they produce are all world class. Hmmmm
Before you go any further here and read on, please take a look at the above video.
Talented, no doubt about it, he’s been herald by many experts and people in the know as “the next best thing” a part of the next golden generation that will help England win the world cup.
He’s looked upon by many utd fans that follow the youth team/reserves as a player that is one of the most gifted they have ever seen, a local boy coming through the ranks at man utd that is actually going to live up to the hype.
Football wise, this boy can do no wrong, but as we all know it takes more than that to make it as a professional footballer.
Those that have followed the short career of Morrison will know about the rumours of his life off the field, a real bad boy with trouble not to far away from him at any time.
“Caught up in the wrong crowd” we’ve heard as his defence these past couple of years, or in the wrong place at the wrong time another favourite cliché to hide the fact that this talented youngster is almost troubled beyond repair.
On Thursday and into the early part of Friday, united fans were excited at the prospect of Morrison turning out for the 1st team this weekend against Crawley town, the night previous he had scored a match winning goal in the youth cup against Newcastle, Morrison put in a fantastic performance and the goal was from the top drawer.
Unfortunately Friday the news broke about Morrison’s court case he had featured in earlier this year. At the time we didn’t know much about it as Morrison was under the age of 18 and in the eyes of the law was still a child so was protected, however the story finally broke and we all finally saw what Morrison was guilty of. Witness intimidation. A crime that he narrowly avoided a spell in detention for.
Morrison’s 2 friends were guilty of a knifepoint robbery, the victim of this was about to give evidence in court against them when Morrison started his intimidation in an attempt to stop the victim speaking against his friends.
He phoned the victim threatening him "you don’t know what I'm capable of" went round to this boys house 1st on his own then with "his boys" a few hours later to threaten this young boy, who lets not forget had done nothing wrong other than to be in wrong place at wrong time.
The judge withheld giving Morrison a sentence and instead decided a 12 month referral order was sufficient at this time, and with this gave Morrison another "last chance"
If you can believe the fanzines that are on sale at match day and some of the local lads who have their ears very much to the ground, this "last chance" of Morrison has been 1 he’s been given many times before.
He’s been late for training at times, had to be pulled apart from team mates on the training field.
For everything good you hear about Morrison’s talent there’s always 3 or 4 negative things that you will hear at the same time.
United are standing by him, are they right or wrong about this? I've run a poll this week and so far its neck and neck, yes we are right to, no we should get rid, then the rest saying yet again "1 last chance"
I’ve thought long and hard about this over the past few days and I’ve concluded my opinion, get rid of him.
Many reasons why, 1st being his crime is disgusting, make no bones about it, it’s a scum of the earth thing to do, if you didn’t know he played for us what would you think? If he was just a jack the lad on the street?
While I’ve never suffered anything like what the victim is going through, I have been beaten up growing up, it wasn’t nice, and it’s something I think about most days if I'm honest. This victim will be going through worse, imagine him having to see Morrison plastered over the papers living the dream (if he makes it at united or any other club) earning the kind of money we can only dream of.
What kind of message does this send out to other youngsters coming through at united? That you can get away with things like this and not suffer any consequences? I can’t believe Alex Ferguson has put up with this, 10 years ago Morrison would have been out of the door no question. No matter how good his potential he would be tarnishing the name of Manchester united, bringing the club into disrepute. Other players have been shipped out of united for doing far less.
Finally how can you support a player knowing he’s done what he’s done? I don’t care if he wears the shirt; he’s done a crime he should be punished for. Imagine if he were a city player or Liverpool? He would be crucified coming to old Trafford. Think Joey Barton. Do we really want a player like that regardless of how good he may become? Knowing that 1 day he may snap again and do something like that.
He was 17 when all this happened, "hasn’t grown up yet.”still a baby" sorry but I don’t buy that either. You know the difference between right and wrong at that age.
I grew up on a council estate just like Morrison, I could easily have fallen in the same traps he has, like many do, but knowing that you had a promising career ahead of you at the biggest club in the world, you just wouldn’t even contemplate risking that would you? Would you? Maybe he genuinely doesn’t care.
We could give him this 1 last chance, I was speaking to Alan Tonge on twitter Sunday evening and he thinks this really is his very last chance. If it is and he takes it then he will have a long way to go to win many fans over, and prove that the past was just a blip in what could become a very successful career.
Personally Id get rid, we are meant to be a family club with good morals and beliefs. Morrison doesn’t fall into either of these.
Just because hes a footballer why should he get off lightly with it? You or I surely wouldnt.
Derby days are never boring these days are they? What with last seasons 4-3 at old Trafford, Scholes last minute winner away, not to mention the carling cup semi finals.
This season’s away game was just a blip in procedures as the excitement of the derby was brought back with Wayne Rooney’s stunning match winner.
City could and probably should have been 1-0 up with the opening 5 minutes, David Silva wasting a glorious opportunity as his shot went across the goal mouth and took a layer of paint off the goal post as it narrowly grazed it. This brought united into life.
A magnificent goal kick by Edwin, that the city defence could only parry into Ryan Giggs's path, the Welshman presenting a lovely ball onto Nani who’s 1st touch was Berbatov-esque and 2nd the most deadliest striker in the world would be proud of.
You could see what it meant to our boys in red, more or less the whole team celebrated together, Nani forgetting his trademark somersault until after the madness of celebration had calmed.
The excellent Smalling and Vidic held city at bay for the rest of the match, a few chances for both teams then city got their equaliser due to a lucky deflection from a Dzeko shot that cannoned off Silva into the back of a wrong footed Edwin Van Der Sars net. Game on.
Chances were always going to be rare in this game and as the clock ticked down you knew it was going to need something special to give us all 3 points. Berbatov was brought on to give Rooney some support upfront. At this point I was thinking it was time for Hernandez also for Wayne Rooney, up to this point it was another poor performance from Rooney, his touch gone, cutting a frustrated figure up front. I would have taken him off in a heart beat but this is why I am not a football manager…..
A fine pass from Paul Scholes found Nani on the right, he put in a cross that was deflected just behind Wayne Rooneys run, without thinking he jumped, altered his body and bicycle kicked the ball into the top corner, proper Roy of the rovers stuff.
Rooney ran off in direction of the city fans, looked to the sky with his arms aloft, you could almost see the relief in his face, there he stood until joined by the rest of the team in celebration, a world class goal worthy of winning any game.
That’s how it stayed and luckily for Wayne “the best goal I’ve ever scored” proved to be the winner.
The scene from a couple of players at the full time whistle was one of them scenes you see when they know the titles in their grasp, think Fulham a few years ago.
Sky showed the celebrations on the bench when Rooney scored, everyone on their feet jumping like crazy. Hair on the back of your neck stuff, you just knew you had seen something very special.
Now the dust has settled where does all this leave us, city and Wayne Rooney?
I think those 3 points were the most important of the season so far, don’t listen to the views of Mike Summerbee after the game (what a tosser!) city didn’t batter us, we held our own and out played them for most of the game, if you don’t believe me take a look at the stats….if you’re one for stats that is eh mike?
We set a marker down on Saturday, not just to city but the whole of the premiership showing that we want our trophy back. No doubt we have tough games ahead but games on this evidence we will be able to handle.
As for city? Well title hopes have gone with that I think, how they respond to defeat will be interesting, I still fancy them to finish in the top 4 but how will their superstars feel after getting beaten by united and realising they are still quite some way to becoming genuine title contenders?
Finally we have Wayne Rooney, I’m hoping this goal will kick start his season now, for almost a year he’s been lets face t rubbish, some of that down to injury, most down to private life. The goal on Saturday showed that he still has that instinct to score a goal, he didn’t have to think about what he was doing it just came so natural to him.
His celebrations after raised an eyebrow with me, yet again he didn’t look happy, I don’t even think he broke a smile after it or at the full time whistle. He commented after the game that he owed that to the united fans, sorry Wayne you owe us a lot more than that after your shenanigans. To be fair he also admitted he played quite bad which is good of him to say so.
I just hope we aren’t seeing with Wayne him turning back into a scorer of great goals rather than a great goal scorer.
So our undefeated run had to come to an end sooner or later didn’t it? To be fair we have been very lucky to get this far into the season without tasting defeat in the premiership.
The comebacks against, villa, Blackpool, hanging on against WBA etc took up a lot of our pot of luck, unfortunately it came to an end against wolves.
No complaints from me, we were beaten fair and square, my only issue is that you wont see wolves put in a performance like that against teams around them, but being a united fan that’s something we’ve come to expect. no disrespect to wolves but the “smaller” teams who view united as their cup final cheat their fans, they put in superhuman effort to claim a victory over us, same with the fans they all turn up when Uniteds in town.
I’ve read this week that Crawley have got thousands coming up to watch them against us in the FA Cup but only last week they had to cancel their supporters coach for a game against Wrexham because they couldn’t fill the coach. No doubt they will come to us and sing “we support our local team” and our reply will be “you’ve only come to see united” never will a chant be so spot on.
So we go into the game against city tasting defeat, 2 saving graces from the wolves game are:
1- Our undefeated streak can’t be taken from us by our noisy neighbours
2- Hopefully we will start going into games with the setup of winning them rather than not to lose. The shackles will hopefully come off.
Unfortunately we are without the injured Rio Ferdinand. Quite rightly Vidic has gained all the plaudits this season and is among the favourites to win player of the season, but I don’t think Rio has got the praise he deserves.
Since his arrival he’s been nothing short of outstanding for us, forgetting the ban he rightly deserved for missing his drugs test I think he’s been a fantastic signing for us.
I never really rated him until the world cup of 2002 and then seeing him week in week out for us I soon realised what a class player he is. The arrival of Vidic really helped Rio, the 2 of them complement each other so well and arguably neither of them are the same player when one of them is missing.
The absence of Rio is a real worry for the derby, apart from his obvious quality its his big game experience that we will be missing and lets not hide from the fact that this is THE biggest game of the season for us, a must win.
Chris Smalling is rumoured to be starting, what I've seen of him he looks the part but I'm not sure if this game will come a season or 2 too soon for him.
He wont have come across an atmosphere and a must win game like this before in his career, add the fact he will have Carlos Tevez buzzing around him for 90 minutes means he will be in for a tough afternoon.
Personally (if fit) id go for Wes Brown, I appreciate the lack of match practice could work against him but he’s a local boy that’s played in games like this before and is a very good defender. I haven’t mentioned Evans because I’m led to believe he’s injured also.
City will probably come with the attitude of not being beaten, 4 across the back and 3 holding midfielders. This is what we’ve become accustomed to at Old Trafford and the setup that they played at Eastland’s earlier this season, if they can't be adventurous at home then how can we expect anything more on their travels?
Its the Mancini/Italian way, play to avoid defeat not play to win, so don’t expect the same game as last seasons epic 4-3 when city were under the guide ship of Mark Hughes.
The midfield area I can see us really struggling on Saturday, breaking down that midfield is going to be key. Anderson, Scholes, Carrick, Fletcher, Giggs and Gibson, 3 of that group at the least will get picked and realistically only Scholes with the real talent to pick out a pass with a bit of magic, and Giggs of course, likelihood being city’s midfield will be closing down our boys as soon as they are on the ball.
This is where I think a bit of tinkering could be made by dropping Berbatov deeper into that role. You can’t get the ball off him when it’s at his feet and he does possess that magic of seeing thing others don’t and executing them. Dropping him deeper would be a good link for him to get the ball to Rooney in his favoured position. Protecting Berbatov could be the powerful Anderson/Fletcher combo then as the game wears on bring on Giggs and Scholes.
On the flanks we will have Nani as a certainty and possibly park on the other after international duty. Nani will have a big role to play in trying to stretch the central midfield out of position whilst also pushing back Citys wide players into defensive positions to cover. I can’t wait until Valencia gets back when we will have 2 out and out wingers on either side giving us the natural width we’ve missed since his absence.
It certainly is going to be some game; we all know the time for mocking city with their lack of silverware over the past 35 years is coming to an end. They will win something soon, it’s inevitable, but it’s up to us to try and prevent that for as long as possible whilst also pushing ourselves to win the league.
6th February 1958 Manchester United were returning from a European Cup match after playing Red Star Belgrade. A simple planned stop in Munich for refuelling purposes was about to change the life of all on board and Manchester United forever.
After refuelling, the plane attempted to take off twice, but had to abandon both attempts “due to boost surging in the port engine”. As the plane attempted to make its 3rd lift off the snow started to come down thicker and faster leaving ice and slush on the runway below.
The aircraft during this 3rd and final attempt lost its grip on the surface and crashed through the fence around the airport, off the runway and smashed into a nearby house tearing off a wing in the process.
7 of United's players died immediately, and Duncan Edwards died from his injuries on 21 February. Johnny Berry and Jackie Blanchflowerboth suffered career ending injuries.
Matt Busby was seriously injured and had to stay in hospital for more than two months after the crash, and was read his Last Rites on 2 occasions. Matt fought through and showed the fight within him that was going to help rebuild the united team almost from scratch.
United only won one league game after the crash, causing their title challenge to collapse and they fell to ninth place in the league.They did manage to reach the final of the FA
Cup, however, losing 2–0 to Bolton Wanderers, and even managed to beat Milan at Old Trafford in the semi-finals of the European Cup, only to lose 4–0 at the San Siro.Busby resumed managerial duties the next season (1958–59), and eventually built a second generation of Busby Babes, including George Best and Denis Law that ten years later won the European Cup, beating Benfica. Bobby Charlton and Bill
Foulkes were the only two crash survivors who lined up in that team.
The Fatalaties that night:
Liam (Billy) Whelan
Walter Crickmer - club secretary who was in charge of the side during the war.
Bert Whalley - Chief Coach. Former left-half at Old Trafford.
Tom Curry - Trainer. Joined United in mid-30s and regarded by Matt Busby as "best trainer in Britain.''
Capt Kenneth Rayment - Co-Pilot
Bela Miklos - Travel Agent
Willie Satinoff - Supporter
Tommy Cable - Steward
Sitting writing this blog, reading over the crash again in books and the internet certainly hasn’t been the most pleasant of blogs, however what came from this disaster has made Manchester United what it is today and that shouldn’t be forgotten.
What Sir Matt accomplished by rebuilding a team from this disaster and turning them into european champions 10 years later is something you cant get your head around.
If you were to go watch a film and that happened you would say the storyline was far fetched how could a man do that?
Sir Matts tradition of giving youth a chance is something that’s been embedded into united ever since, right up to present day with fergies fledglings and the continued opportunity youth players get at united. It has helped making manchester united a “family” many times you will here united saying ferguson is like a father figure to them and how they all feel part of 1 big family.
This closeness transports itself onto the field and you really do sense at times we actually are all united and the players will fight for each other.
It’s a feeling you don’t really see at any other club and in my opinion definatley goes a long way to explain how weve mainted success for so long.
All this can be put down to Sir Matt and the influence he made both before, during and after the Munich air disaster.
The players that tragically lost their lives were all very very talented individuals, Id love to have seen Duncan Edwards play, his character, size, leadership and obviously his talent would be more than enough to walk into our current team. Sadly the disaster took from us potentially one of the greatest players that ever lived.
RIP The Busby Babes
“I don’t feel there is any value in the transfer market at the minute” –
Sir Alex Ferguson
Words that were dismissed by the majority of united fans disillusioned by the fact these past couple of summers we haven’t purchased any big name players, however once again Sir Alex proves everyone wrong going by yesterdays transfer activity.
I have never genuinely been in shock about a transfer fee in my life but the fee Liverpool have paid for Andy Carroll did that.
I honestly cant believe it costs £35m for a player with 4 months or so Premiership experience, 1 England cap, & never played in any European competition either.
I could be proved wrong and ill hold my hands up if I am but I honestly believe this will be THE biggest transfer mistake in terms of value for money in history.
The whole Charlie Adam scenario while not as ridiculous as the above was still a bit of a shock, again a player with a few months experience of the premiership football getting talked up as if he was Pele, and a transfer fee rumoured to be between £8-£14m.
I was a bit worried towards the end of the window when rumours were we were about to launch a bid for him, I’ve seen him play a few times and whilst he’s a good player he’s nowhere near man united quality and we are already carrying a central midfielder who’s well out of his depth (mentioning no names Darron Gibson) to afford another on our books.
Credit to Blackpool for keeping hold of him and not budging on their valuation of the player.
I’m just so glad we kept out of the market yesterday and weren’t involved with anything stupid like that, Interestingly enough the 2 managers to not be involved in any comings or goings are the ones occupying 1st and 2nd in the Premiership right now.
We then have the main subject of this blog, the Fernando Torres situation; I think Liverpool did the right thing in selling him especially for that amount. I think he’s lost a yard of pace, injury prone seems really spoilt, moody, fed up and in my opinion his better days are well behind him, so for £50m Liverpool have done a great bit of business.
What this whole Torres transfer did was open up an old wound in the shape of the Wayne Rooney saga from earlier this season. A very similar situation with 2 different outcomes.
When Rooney signed for us I was ecstatic, a player that had potential not seen from a player in a long time who had destroyed defences in the European Championship shortly before his transfer to us, all this at the age of 18/19.
A hat trick on his debut and performances of passion, guts and determination endeared him to our hearts from the offset. He was one of us, from a council estate no airs and graces, you could relate to him, the only negative was that he was a scousers….but he was our scouser.
The years went on and within a short time he had won everything with the club, personal achievements such as player of the year, earmarked as a future United captain all this before he had even reached his peak.
Last season he finally turned all his hard work and endeavour into goals, filled the Ronaldo void and turned into a goal machine, the season was his best in a united shirt, unfortunately injury then struck over in Munich, cut his season short and we have never seen that Wayne Rooney ever again.
A mixture of personal problems and not being fully fit destroyed his World Cup, he just didn’t look right during the whole tournament. His season here started with a whimper, still he didn’t look right, not interested, just not Wayne Rooney, then came the bombshell of his transfer request and wanting out of United. A rumour that had been circulating for some time among the Fanzines.
All of this so far more or less identical to the Fernando Torres situation, both players without doubt world class and idolised by their fans but both wanting out of the clubs that helped make them into superstars.
As we all know Ferguson convinced Rooney to stay, boosted his wages and fended off the interest from the noisy neighbours (or has he?)
Clearly Rooney had been tapped up at some point, of course he hid behind the smokescreen of the lack of investment into the team in a bid to get the fans onside, most of us saw through that as a publicity stunt. Fact of the matter was Rooney wanted out or at the very least blackmail the club into giving him more money.
So its been a good few months since Rooney signed that contract extension and what have we seen since? Not a lot in all truth, off the top of my head I think its 1 goal from open play, a couple of penalties and a few assists.
His recent performance against Birmingham suggested he was starting to find form again but not the goal scoring form that we’ve seen he’s capable of. This was followed up with a poor display against Blackpool where he just didn’t look interested. You may point out he’s been playing out of position again but he has to realise United isn’t all about him, Berbatov didn’t sulk when he was out of the team last season, he put his head down worked hard and look what he’s done this season! Berbatov deserves his chance to shine upfront and Rooney must respect that by putting in the effort regardless of what position he’s playing.
I was surprised he didn’t start against Southampton really, a perfect opportunity for him to find the back of the net and boost his confidence, instead he was benched and the 2 players taking up his spot both scored to add to the pressure building on Rooney’s shoulders.
My thought here is should we have got rid of him when his transfer request came in? If Ferguson could have seen into the future and the form of Berbatov and Chicarito he may have well thought yes lets sell him while his value is at its highest (of course what Ferguson would have seen of that to reinvest into the team i'm not too sure, thanks Malcolm glazer)
His performances since haven’t suggested to me he’s happy, you can paper over the cracks saying he’s assisting goals etc but as a goal scorer that has proved he can hit 30+ a season he needs to start scoring.
Seeing him in a city shirt would be a killer, just like seeing Tevez in it still gets to me, but it would be an angry kind of pain, one that would inspire the players and supporters to go that extra mile against city to deny them winning anything. Beating city at the minute with Tevez in that shirt has never felt sweeter. It would be a totally different pain as the 1 I used to get watching Beckham and now Ronaldo in a Madrid shirt, both handling their transfers away from united in a respectful manor (not always with Ronaldo but towards the end he did) gutted they had gone but always welcome back to old Trafford with affectionate arms wide open.
Touching on Ronaldo and Beckham makes me think Wayne Rooney will go the same way. The season before Beckham left he signed a contract extension, 12 months later he had gone. Ronaldo as we all know by now was convinced to stay 1 more season then he would be allowed to join his boyhood club real Madrid.
I’m convinced something similar has happened with Rooney, either the play 1 more season then you can go trick or raising his transfer value by tying him down to a long term contract.
At times he looks as if he’s working his notice which leads me to believe this, it wouldn’t surprise me to see him at city at all as a good friend pointed out to me yesterday…. Why didn’t city bid for Torres? Is it because they already know they have Rooney lined up in the summer? Makes you wonder, he left his boyhood club for us and kisses our badge in their faces, if he can’t be loyal to them how can we expect him to be loyal to us?
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